Summary: We are called to love each other... it is NOT an option for believer to pick and choose who we can love! Love is the foundation for our walk in Christ
Date Written: February 02, 2009
Date Preached: February 18, 2009
Where Preached: Oak Park (Wed Evening)
Sermon Series: A Series from 1 John
Sermon Title: Loving Fellow Believers!
Sermon Text: 1 John 2:7-11
7 Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. 8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. 9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
Loving our brothers and sisters in Christ is a command of Christ and we are all called to love each other but so often we fall into the same place as this story:
There was once a preacher who was speaking to a SS class about things money can’t buy. He told them, “I want you all to know that money cannot buy you love”.
To illustrate his point, the pastor said, “What if I offered you $1000 not to love your mother and father?” There was a hush that fell over the room until a very young boy from the back of the class said, “How much would you give me not to love my big sister?”
But that is NOT the way it is in the Christian family… it is NOT how it should be! We do NOT have the option to pick and choose who we love or do not love! First we are called to love each other in Christ and then 2nd we are called to show and share the love of Christ to a lost world!
Jesus taught us that LOVE was to be our central focus and John teaches us here that if we do not have love for our brothers and sisters in Christ, we are walking in darkness… and speaking of darkness:
Do you know how many Christians it takes to change a light bulb? If you’re…
Amish: You would say, “What is a light bulb?”
Unitarians: You would say, “We choose not to make a statement either in favor of or against the need for a light bulb. However, if in your own journey you have found that light bulbs work for you, that is fine. You are invited to write a poem or compose a modern dance about your light bulb for the next Sunday service, in which we will explore a number of light bulb traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent, three-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are equally valid paths to luminescence.”
Mormons: You would say, “Five. One MAN to change the bulb, and four WIVES to tell him how to do it.”
Roman Catholic: You would say, “None. Candles only!”
Charismatics/Pentecostals: You would say, “Ten. One to change the bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness”
Methodists: You would say, “Well that is undetermined at this time. Whether your light is bright, dull, or completely out, you are still loved. You can be a light bulb, turnip bulb, or tulip bulb. A Church wide lighting service is planned for this Sunday so bring the bulb of your choice and a covered dish.”
Lutherans: You would say, “None. You know Lutherans don’t believe in change!”
Presbyterians: You would say, “It doesn’t take ANYONE because the lights will go on and off at predestined times.”
And finally us Baptists: You would say, “Well it would take at least 25 believers. One to change the light bulb, and three committees of five to approve the change, and nine to comment on how much they liked the old light bulb over the new one.”
This evening I want us to take a look at this passage from 1 John and see what John is teaching us about loving each other and how we can avoid the darkness in our walk with Christ! Let’s look 1st at v.7
7 Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning.
In v.3-6 that we studied last week we heard John teach his readers that you can KNOW that you KNOW Jesus… the barometer that John sets forth is that TRUE believers will be obedient to the commandments of Jesus, just as Jesus had taught in His earthly ministry. We can know that we know if we are obedient and faithful to do what God has commanded…